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COVID-19 is Not Just Like a Bad Flu - Perspective

COVID-19 is not just another bad flu, it can have quite damaging impacts on society if we, each and every one of us, don't do their part. In these trying times, let's remember to be human, be kind and mostly trust those that are trying their best to keep us safe and keep us healthy.

For those who are underestimating the severity of COVID-19 by saying that it is like the bad flu and only has a 2% mortality rate, let's put things into perspective:

Assume this virus infects everyone globally, which is 7.5 billion people.

2% of 7.5 billion infections means that approximately 150 MILLION people could die from this illness.

If all of Australia was infected, this would result in approx 500,000 deaths

The USA - 6.5 Million

India - 26 Million

China - 27.6 Million


Then add the stress of this illness to limited and exhausted health care systems, and we will also see a massive increase in deaths from completely treatable and preventable causes.

Assume these preventable deaths equate to an extra 300 MILLION deaths (this is a pure guestimate and the number could be significantly higher or lower) - totalling 450 MILLION deaths globally due to this pandemic.

This means that we each need to do our part to help prevent this pandemic from spreading:

Our contributions are quite simple:

1. Self-isolate for 14 days if you have travelled recently or if you have come in contact with an ill person or if you are ill. (and if your national health authority tells you to do so)

2. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds - regularly

3. Cough/sneeze into your elbow and avoid crossing your arms.

4. Be kind to one another, as this is a very stressful time for everyone.

5. If you are ill in any way with cold/flu symptoms, avoid visiting the elderly and immunocompromised people.

6. Do not panic buy, there are enough food and supplies to go around. In the event of a lockdown, you will still be able to go to the grocery stores and pharmacies for specific hours of the day.

7. If you have elderly or immunocompromised neighbours, please check up on them regularly to make sure that they are okay - they will have a particularly tough time with the isolation, and small acts of kindness can go a long way to help that we all get through this.

8. If you are feeling ill, be sure to call your doctor or hospital ahead of visiting, to prevent spreading the infection to vulnerable people.

9. Finally, be human and remember that we are all in this together, we can get through this and have hope for a brighter tomorrow.

(PLEASE NOTE - at this point in time the above scenario is unlikely and the numbers are for illustrative purposes)


Dr. Mo Assoum, Infectious disease epidemiologist.

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